Keeping your pet's
skin and coat healthy requires optimum nutrition, freedom from parasites (see
our web page for (internal) parasites), regular
grooming and allergy control.
Demodex xxxxxxxxxYoung dog with demodex
The major signs of skin disease are scratching, inflamed skin, dull coat and
hair loss (bald patches). Never ignore these symptoms.
Diagnostics: Allergy testing, fungal culturing,
skin scraping, blood tests and skin biopsies.
Fleas are parasitic insects that survive on the blood of their host. Most
dogs will suffer from fleas in its life. Fleas can cause anemia and flea allergy
dermatitis as well as transmit tapeworms. Treatment:
it is important to treat both your pet and its home environment (floors,
carpets and chairs). Use veterinary approved products only. Safe oral and
topical monthly flea control products are now available.
Ticks are parasites that may come into contact with a dogs fur and bury
their mouth parts in its skin. Ticks may swell to the size of a small pea
or larger when feeding on blood. Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
and Ehrlichiosis represent the most serious health threats posed by ticks
to both dogs and humans. These ticks can cause enlarged lymph nodes, joint
inflammation and fever. Lameness is the most common clinical sign of Lyme
disease. Kidney failure, cardiac and neurological disease are
found in advanced cases of Lyme disease.
Treatment: If you find a tick on your
pet, use tweezers, not your fingers, to remove it. Lyme
disease requires a course of antibiotics daily over a period
of two to three weeks. Close monitoring for reoccurence of symptoms is essential.
There are more than 30,000 different species of mites identified to date,
but only a dozen varieties are common among dogs. Cats frequently suffer from
ear mites. Only
one mite, the Sarcoptic Mange mite,
is zoonotic (can be transferred to humans). This mite burrows in a dogs
skin and causes itchiness, inflammation and fur loss. Untreated it may cause
unnecessary suffering and death. Demodex
found in young dogs and occasionally in older dogs with immune deficiency.
Most young dogs recover from the localized (five or fewer bald spots) form
of demodex when their immune systems mature. Generalized forms are more serious
and much more difficult to resolve.
Treatment: all mites require appropriate
treatment by a veterinarian. Sarcoptic Mange
requires either a series of Ivermectin injections, special dips or newer topical
spot treatment with Revolution. Prompt and complete treatment is essential
to eliminate these parasites. Demodex Mites
should be treated with topical medications, Mitaban dips and specific oral